Video: New invasive species display opened at Bristol Zoo
They may look innocent but a new display at Bristol Zoo contains killers which are decimating our native wildlife in the UK's waterways.
Species like the zebra mussel, marsh frogs and killer shrimp along with plants such as skunk-cabbage, floating pennywort and New Zealand pygmy weed have found their way into our waterways and are having a devastating impact on our native species.
Often biggest and more aggressive than indigenous plants and animals they can wipe out whole populations of native wildlife in an area.
Richard Benyon, the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, opened the new exhibit at the zoo and said the cost of these invasive species was not just ecological but economic as well.
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“It will cost us 1.7 billion pounds to deal with invasive species which clog up our waterways and ruin our rivers as ecological habitats," he said.
“It's a massive job and government can play it's part but every single person who uses our waterways in any way, shape or form can help as well.
"I'm so impressed that Bristol Zoo are leading the way with this very important display and playing their part in this campaign.”
Bristol Zoo's Conservation Manager, Jen Nightingale, added: “This is the first display of it's kind in the country and it's a fantastic opportunity for zoo visitors to experience some of the worst plant and animal invaders that are destroying our British species.”
The opening of the exhibit ties in with the Check, Clean Dry campaign which urges everyone who uses waterways such as boaters, canoeists and anglers to clean their equipment regularly especially if they go between different areas to help prevent the spread of non-native species.
The wildlife Minister Richard Benyon and Jen Nightingale spoke to Pamela Parkes about these alien invaders. See the video below...